Clouds, cows, and a lot of emotion. That’s what I remember most from this wedding, despite there being no shortage of memorable pieces. Pulling off a surprise guest for the bride, guests wheeled in on flatbeds, keg stands a plenty. If I had to choose a single image as the tentpole for this wedding, it would be the couple on hay bails in the clouds. If I was pressed to select one moment… it would be the groom, Logan, taking his hat off, tears in his eyes, as he watched Deshea walk down the aisle. All the feels. An old school classiness that you just don’t see that often. It defined this wedding for me.

That brings up a couple points I think are worth mentioning. First, if you’re a bride or groom planning a wedding, deciding between a first look and waiting for the ceremony can be tough. It’s much more practical to take portraits before the ceremony, after a first look, but that may not be the way you’ve always pictured your day. Waiting for the ceremony still holds a sentimental place in the hearts of many people. Which is right? Which is better? It really depends on what is most important to you, and the constraints you have on your time. If you don’t have 1-2 hours to spare on portraits after the ceremony, do a first look. If you have always dreamed of seeing each other for the first time down the aisle, there’s your answer. Just know that I’ve seen plenty of wedding with an emotional reaction to a first look AND walking down the aisle (ahem, this one). You won’t lose anything if you find you really need to do portraits beforehand. I really believe that.

Secondly, have the wedding that is right for you. Chateaus, forests, or hay-bails. Elopement or 500 person event. Find the thing that makes you happy, and do that thing. You can make a field classy, and you can dirty up the dancefloor of the priciest ballroom with some Ludacris. Marry the right person, plan the wedding that suits you.

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    I wish “infectiously happy” sounded like a positive phrase, because it is the best way I can think to describe these two. Being around them makes you smile and appreciate how special it is to be happy in this life, and have someone to share that happiness with (even in the blustery northwest). Thankfully we live in the same town… I’m looking forward to being prompted b y their happiness for years to come.


    WORDS OF ADVICE FROM THE BRIDE: A lot goes into preparing for your wedding day, however, no matter how much planning you do, not everything will be exactly as you expect or imagine. If you let the day just be how it’s going to be it will be perfect! It will likely be better than imagined. Take time to just ENJOY the day, and ENJOY all the people that come to celebrate your marriage!
    GROOM’S ADVICE: Always stake down your tents.

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      Katy and Ben threw one of the most memorable parties I’ve ever attended. The food, the tents, the jumping in the pool, the helicopter getaway. Is this real life? It was this day.

      I am a sucker for any shooting that involves the water. Rain, lakes, rivers, oceans, all of it.  Ending up chest deep in the pool right before the send off is my kind of jam. These two are equally my kind of jam. The sweetest, most in love couples are always my favorite brides and grooms to photograph. I definitely love artsy people, moody vibes, and things that stray towards fashion… but for wedding work, I care less and less about “cool” and more about “real.” The quirky oddness of the 200-2010’s will probably be fun to look at in 30 years, but there’s no hipster pose that can stand up to genuine emotion. This is where I want to go with my work. Couples like Katy and Ben make me all the more sure of it. They had a beautiful wedding, with so many fashionable and exciting elements, however; the emotion of the day will forever be what I remember. And the pool. But really the emotion 😉

      HUGE thanks to my friend Kayla Roper for shooting with me.

      Words of Advice from the Bride: 

      The most important thing to remember on your wedding day is that regardless of what happens, at least in 99.99% of circumstances, at the end of the day you’ll be married. Our day was filled with inclement weather, a chauffeur who locked the keys in the car, cakes with the wrong cake toppers and I’m sure 100 other mishaps of which I’m not even aware.

      Ben and I were only engaged for three months but we still felt very invested in the details we worked hard to create for our friends and family to enjoy. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out. Some of the challenges even led to eventual highlights. For instance, I was initially disappointed the wedding day forecast was full of rain. The rain forced us to put up tents, which in all honesty, ended up transforming our venue into an even greater space than I could have imagined. The 30 minutes we were forced to wait at the church for a replacement vehicle led to some our favorite bridal party photos. Speaking of photos… document, document, document.
      It is impossible to catch everything that happens at a wedding with more than 20 guests. Ben and I had roughly 190 people. I felt like I missed half of my friends and half of what happened. When people tell you the day will be a bit of blur, they mean it. One piece of great advice I received was to take a few moments throughout the day and soak them into memory. I will truly never forget my Mom and best friends tying me into my dress; the things my dad told me prior to walking down the aisle; a few moments I stole with my groom, brother and teary eyed coach; basking in a glorious Eugene sunset; jumping into the pool in my wedding dress; and steeling kisses from my new husband under the dance floor. Even with all those wonderful memories, I missed things. Lots of things. Spend money on a good photographer and videographer. Lasting documentation is a saving grace. It allows you to relive in perpetuity all of the time, effort and money you put into your day.  Photos and video, in my opinion, are truly the most worthwhile investment of your wedding day.
      As with most in things in life, your wedding day is what you make it. Things never go exactly as planned. Allowing yourself to roll with punches, find the good in the bad and genuinely enjoy the experience will serve you well. My hope for you is that like me, at the end of the day, your greatest joy will be realizing you were blessed to find the love of your life, marry your best friend and have a wonderful time celebrating this lifelong commitment with your family and friends.

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      • Bethany Joy Gilbertsonamazing work as usually, jay!

      • Bruce SearlBeautiful work Jay!

      • Heather ElizabethSo freaking good. You seriously keep getting better and better. Still one of my favorite photographers.

        you rocked this wedding.


      Go do something kind for someone who doesn't expect it.